Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil, which is made from the peppermint plant, Mentha piperita, has a long history of medicinal use for a wide range of maladies from mild stomach upset to muscle pain and even as a treatment for bacterial and viral infections. With its long history of use, peppermint oil continues to be beneficial for many common illnesses and a few surprising purposes as well.
Medicinal Uses for Peppermint Oil Extract
While modern medicine offers many outstanding treatments for a wide range of maladies, it’s difficult to overlook centuries of wisdom that goes along with using peppermint oil to treat these same conditions – not to mention a wide range of clinical studies to support these ages old claims (some dating back to Ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece). These are a few examples of the reported benefits of peppermint oil extract.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome – One study, reported on in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, determined that peppermint oil is “significantly superior to placebo” medication for the treatment of IBS symptoms in the short term. A separate study, published in Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews determined that peppermint essential oil (along with peppermint leaf) works effectively as an antispasmodic for treatment of IBS. Peppermint is also helpful in relieving bloating, flatulence, and indigestion, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Colon Exams – Peppermint oil capsules have been prescribed orally to patients prior to a colonoscopy to reduce colon spasms, reduce pain, and reduce the time for the procedure. Peppermint oil in a barium enema is thought to relax the colon.
Muscle Pain – When it comes to muscle aches and pains, peppermint essential oil is widely known to cause relief when applied topically. That is why it’s used so often in massage oils and topical ointments for sports pain.
Oral Health – Another area where peppermint essential oil is believed to be effective is in the area of oral health. It is widely used in mouthwash and toothpaste not only for its breath freshening capabilities, but also for its healing impact on overall oral health. According to WebMD, peppermint essential oil is widely used to treat toothaches, inflammation of the mouth (and throat), bacterial infections, viral infections, and nerve pain.
Nausea Treatment – The National Cancer Institute also suggests the use of peppermint essential oil and aromatherapy as a potential treatment for post-operative nausea. It goes on to recommend the use of peppermint oil in combination with eucalyptus oil for headaches associated with cancer and cancer treatments.
The University of Maryland Medical Center sites many more uses for peppermint. It is used to treat a number of other ailments, including menstrual cramps, anxiety, headaches, skin irritations, and depression because of its number and calming effect. Some chest congestion rubs that treat the common cold have it as one of the ingredients. Because it can kill certain types of viruses, fungus, and bacteria in test tubes, it is suggested that it may have antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.
Other Peppermint Essential Oil Uses
Aside from the medicinal benefits of peppermint oil extract, there are plenty of other ways peppermint essential oil is used every day, including the following uses and more.
Study Aid: A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience determined that peppermint essential oil aroma increases alertness and enhances memory making it an excellent choice for study nights. So much so that the power of peppermint was put to the test when a principal of Silver Spring middle school ordered 3,600 peppermint candies for the school’s 800 students in order to boost their scores on statewide tests.
Home Fragrance: Many home fragrance products include peppermint oil or peppermint extract. It provides a fresh, clean smell many people find appealing.
Mouse Repellent: Place several drops on cotton balls and place the balls at strategic locations around your home. It smells great and mice hate the scent.
As you can see there are many potential benefits for using peppermint essential oils to treat various conditions, to help your home smell clean and fresh, to help you feel better when feeling nauseous, and even improve your mood and memory. With so many potential benefits it’s a good plan to consider looking for new ways to bring the powerfully healing fragrance of peppermint essential oil into your home.